World Leading Wine, Viti and Tourism Technology Accelerator Returns in 2023

Darren Oemcke, co-founder and head coach of FOMENT

FOMENT is a tech Accelerator and Incubator for the wine sector, currently taking applications for its fourth intake. Our Acceleration program is for high-growth globally oriented tech companies targeting the wine sector. Its role is to ensure companies going through FOMENT are delivering real value to the wine sector, solving real industry problems and that their solutions are matured and available as quickly as possible.

Our aim is to reduce the number of companies that are pushing technology to the sector and increase the number that are solving real pain-points with products that are appropriately developed for the target users.

The companies we work with in the Accelerator are early-stage start-ups and spinouts and scale-ups of companies launching new technology who need rapid growth to tackle global problems. They need venture capital funding to grow quickly enough to build their markets and be competitive for more growth capital.

This environment, where lots of companies are competing for funding to grow, means that only the best ideas survive in a Darwinian competition for the rare resource of further financing.  In an extreme case, Apple was originally a venture capital backed company; Mike Markkula was its first investor providing $250,000 in 1977 and is now worth $1.2billion.

Because these high-growth tech companies have a fundamentally different business model from a conventional business, our Accelerator is a little like business school specifically for them. We work with companies to develop a fast growth business model that is based on lots of experiments. These experiments test if the start-up is solving a real problem (not just pushing technology for the sake of it) and provides market feedback so they can improve and refine their offering. We work with our start-ups to identify early adopters who can provide them initial traction and user feedback, keeping investors interested enough to support further rapid growth.

We work with companies at all stages from initial problem/solution identification through to their first major investment (called Series A). The companies that have participated in FOMENT have been across all of viticulture, wine production, supply chain, wine marketing and wine tourism.

Many of these companies are already making a real difference to wine, a great example is NZ start-up Onside:

“FOMENT was phenomenal for me as my real focus was connections. Australia was a new place for Onside and I didn’t know anyone from the sector. I really wanted to jump into things and the team at FOMENT catered to that and provided me with intros and one-on-one mentoring. I can’t talk highly enough about it.”

Guy Davidson, Customer Success Lead Onside, New Zealand

If you know a tech company that wants to succeed in the wine industry, please steer them in our direction. Applications close December 16: